Once Upon a Time
New York City Serenade

Episode Report Card
Cindy McLennan: A- | 198 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
The Way We Were

Neal asks Charming if it's true that the curse returned all their "stuff" to the Enchanted Forest. He wants to stop by his father's place on the way to Knifingham. Charming reminds Neal that Rumpelstiltskin is gone. Neal says, "Maybe, maybe not. And if he's not, maybe he can get me back to Emma." We cut to a...

Sidebar. Season 2 (ptooey I will speak of it, no more) really screwed over Neal. This season, the writers seem to be trying to fix what they ruined in the first place, because I no longer want to scream, "Douchefire," every time I see his mug. They're writing him as if he has a chance of overcoming those early characterization problems. In "New York City Serenade," Neal's immediate focus is on finding a way back to Emma and Henry. To me, that says he stands some chance. Personally, I'd prefer Emma to find a different happy ending, but if there's still a chance Neal is hers, I will feel better if he earns it. Thanks to this episode, it looks like he's going to try to do so.

Snow then has to ruin my mood by saying, "Neal, it's impossible. Regina was clear. The price of our return was a complete reset. No more portals. This is our realm for good. There's no way to cross over, not without another curse." Charming piles on. "We have to move on. This is our home, now." There's more about the best thing they can do for Emma and Henry is to let them be, but blah. Screw you both, Your Majesties. I mean, they're speaking the truth as far as they know it. I don't have a problem with that. I have a problem that they've so quickly accepted that they will never again see their daughter and grandson. Sure, they can take great comfort that Emma has been relieved of the burden of being the savior, and she and Henry can live a normal life, but they shouldn't be this resigned this soon. It detracts from them as characters. It makes me think less of them than I want to. Neal walks off without a word. Good for you, Neal! We flash forward to the...

Present Day. Emma's clearing the breakfast dishes when Henry asks if she has his field trip permission slip. When she pulls it out of her purse, the address Hook gave her comes out, with it. He can tell she's unnerved and asks if something is going on. When she denies it, he insists he can tell she's worried. She says she's only thinking about something, and there is a difference. When Henry asks if she's think about Walsh, Emma starts to tell the truth, but then grabs the cover Henry's just provided to her. "No, I... Yeah. I am. Can you blame me for taking 24 hours to think through making a life-altering decision?" Henry tells her she's always looking for something to be wrong. "You don't have to do that, you know. Sometimes, it's okay to accept things that are... good." Emma gives Henry a hug and a kiss, before he heads off to school. Once he's gone, she looks at the address Hook gave her (89 Wooster St., New York, NY). We cut to...

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Once Upon a Time

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